Mailbag # 22: Don't Worry, Be Happy

Mailbag # 22: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

RALEIGH, NC. – Happy Sunday, Caniacs.

The Hockey Hall of Fame is for an exclusive group of players, coaches and important figures in the sport. Last night we saw a sampling as to why Marc-Andre Fleury will be inducted there in the years to come.

As for the Canes, a pretty good week otherwise, earning a dominant win over Washington, a point in the second half of a back-to-back against Tampa, and a shutout of Montreal that very much so looked like a team in first taking on a team currently in eighth.

Before we turn the calendar to a Tuesday tilt in Buffalo followed by three home games in four days, let’s get to today’s questions from Twitter.

We have seen some recent losses. What do you think is our biggest area of ​​weakness heading into playoffs & what do we do to minimize them? – @ krodgers53

In regard to the recent losses, I’m not too concerned, Kristana.

Again, in looking at last night, that’s just the reigning Vezina Trophy winner doing what he does. That’s going to happen.

Prior to that, Tuesday night in Tampa, the team had no juice and was playing against a club that was 0-1-1 against them this year, so the Lightning had the extra motivation coming in. I think it’s a good thing that the Canes managed to get a point in that one.

In the last loss before that, the team more than tripled Dallas in shots. Again, they just ran into an outstanding goaltending performance.

I could keep going back further and further but I think it’s been a little bit since we’ve seen the team play poorly in any way. But, if I had to give you something, I think there’s always room to tighten up in terms of discipline. After all, Minnesota’s first goal, which set the tone for their offense last night, did come on the power play.

The playoffs are do or die and everything is magnified by one hundred. One penalty can change the course of the game.

Whether they’ve all been deserved or not is a different discussion, but currently, Carolina has taken the fourth-most minor penalties in the league this season. They also sit third with their 11 bench minors, which is something they will definitely want to avoid as they get into postseason play.

Canes have seemed to hit a rough stretch here the last 6-7 games. What do we think is the cause of that? Just a team that is mentally and physically tired because of a hard month in March schedule-wise? Should we be worried? – @ nca_1105

4-1-2 over the last seven isn’t too bad if you ask me. Especially when you consider that they’ve outscored opponents 27-15 during that stretch.

I touched on some of the reasoning above. I’m not worried Nick, and I don’t think you should be either.

Expectations seem to be HIGH among the fan base and while that’s exciting because the team’s play has raised them to that level, it’s also important to keep a level head with things. This team is going to hit 100 points for just the second time in franchise history. They may break the organization’s all-time record, too. They’re going to clinch a playoff spot, probably within the next week. They have a Vezina candidate netminder.

The list could go on and on, but point being, there are a lot of good things going on here. Enjoy them while you can!

Thoughts on recent article posted on TSN about penalty comparisons? I believe Travis Yost was the author. – @ MattSmith1999

Ah, yes, the hot topic of the week.

If you’re not sure what Matt is talking about, feel free to check it out here.

My opinion means next to nothing on the subject, but my stance will always be that the NHL should add an official upstairs in the press box like the XFL did. Teams have video coaches in the back looking at multiple different camera angles for potential challenges on goals, so why can’t the league have someone looking at penalties as soon as an official’s arm goes up? With the access to technology that we have these days, you can tell if someone is actually tripped or if it’s embellishment.

I digress.

Rod Brind’Amour elaborated at length about the subject after Friday’s practice when asked. He saw the article and no, he doesn’t think there’s a conspiracy against his team. He was surprised about what it brought light to but took a bigger picture approach to looking at it.

“I think it will even itself out,” he said. “If I go back to seven years previous, when we weren’t very good… we always had more power plays than kills. And now it just switched the other way.… I think if we revisit this in three more years and it will probably be even. “

Time will tell.

Any updates on KK? – @BevieMiller

For those who missed the news on Thursday, forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi will be out at least two to three weeks with a lower-body injury.

While still very unfortunate news, it certainly could have been worse.

For those who enjoy keeping benchmark dates in mind, two weeks from March 31 is April 14. Three weeks is April 21.

I have a Slavin jersey, who should I get next? – @Britt_Coble

If you and I are alike Britt, when buying a jersey, you want something that will be good for several seasons. Nothing is worse than buying a sweater and a player is moved or doesn’t re-sign a year or two later, right?

Lucky for you the team has Andrei Svechnikov signed through 2028-29 and Kotkaniemi through 2029-30. Two pretty good options to start with.

If neither of those strike your fancy, how about Sebastian Aho, who is now tied for third all-time in franchise goal scoring? He’ll continue to make his way up the list over the next several seasons too.

Before I give you a reason to buy a sweater for each player on the roster, I’ll let my offerings end there.

The only thing left for you to decide is if you’ll be going with white, red, or black. See you at The Eye (steed order online if that’s your thing).

Not a member of Twitter? We’re always happy to take questions at as well!

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